TIRUNELVELI: When he decided to set up a back office for his US-based tech firm, Prabakaran Murugaiah did not scout in the metropolises that are known to the West as IT hubs. Instead, the young entrepreneur, son of a farmer and a government school teacher, decided to return to roots, Tirunelveli, where he grew up.
The elder son of farmer-teacher couple, P Murugaiah and P Mahalakshmi, from Kela Anbur near Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli, he studied in Tamil medium up to Class XII. He then collected his BE Electrical and Communication Engineering degree from the National Engineering College in Kovilpatti, and joined a tech company in Hyderabad as a customer support engineer.
After working in tech firms in Chennai and Mumbai, Prabakaran (44) went to the US. Following his stints at four Fortune 100 companies, Prabakaran decided to try his hands at entrepreneurship. Thus formed Virginia-based Corp-Corp – the name given to the nascent entity before it became TechFetch. The company describes itself as a technology job portal that helps IT firms to find the candidates that they are looking for.
The company needed a back office, and Prabakaran chose his hometown. “When I came to Tirunelveli to set it up, I could not get the workforce I needed. We decided to train people to create the team here,” he recalled. The result of this effort, along with the support of other NRIs, is Tiliconveli Tech Park – the name is a not-so-subtle spin of Silicon Valley. “This 30,000 sq ft IT park will provide jobs to about 1,000 people,” Prabakaran claimed.
The numbers will be doubled in the coming days, he said, adding that there are many entrepreneurs from the district who have evinced interest in setting up shops here.
“This is just the beginning. The idea is to expand in the next five years to a Tiliconveli Smart Ecocity in the outskirts with the help of interested NRIs. This will house tech, healthcare and hi-tech manufacturing firms. Once completed, we expect to provide direct jobs to about 10,000 people, and 50,000 indirect jobs,” he said. Four IT and ITeS firms have already signed up to start operations from here, while more than 10 companies are planning to join.